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Comments on news posted 2013-02-04 12:15:03: Last year Cablevision employees in Brooklyn voted to unionize for the first time in the company's history, a significant move given the fact that just 2-4% of cable technicians are unionized. ..


FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

An opposing and a middle of the road view of the firings

Here is the company's side of what took place:
»www.newsday.com/business/cablevi···.4537920

Here is a neutral look at it, as opposed to the union's view provided in the link in Karl's story:
»blogs.villagevoice.com/runninsca···sion.php
And note that the Village Voice is NOT a mouthpiece for corporate dominance.
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: An opposing and a middle of the road view of the firings

Both of those present a similar view of the situation and is consistent with what I originally heard with the exception that the Cablevision spokesperson claimed the employees were engaging in a 'strike'.

I would be very interested to hear how long these workers were waiting before being considered 'refusing to work'. I would also be curious as to why some of the workers who left (as supposedly requested by management) were called back in and terminated.

If a vice president was at their work location, the workers requesting a short meeting would not be unreasonable to me. Being fired for this, as opposed to being suspended, does seem unreasonable though.

Kommie
Premium
join:2003-05-13
united state
kudos:3
Figures that you would be Anti-Labor.
NOVA_UAV_Guy
Premium
join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

said by FFH:

And note that the Village Voice is NOT a mouthpiece for corporate dominance.

If anything, I thought that the Village Voice's article was a bit slanted toward the union.

That said, I too am curious about how long these workers spent waiting for the Vice President. Would they be allowed to have this count against their lunch break or any other mandated break during the day? If not, why?

I don't see their request to meet with the Vice President in question as unreasonable. I also don't see the person's delaying of granting the request as unreasonable. (Heck, I wouldn't see his/her refusal to meet with the employees as unreasonable either, depending upon the explanation that could be provided.)

While firing these employees does send a message, I fear it's the wrong one. Unless these folks had other work-related problems and warnings issued which were documented in their employment files, the company just opened itself up to larger problems. If those who were fired had previously documented work-related problems, then they very well may have caused their own problems and should look for work elsewhere.

The problem in this whole thing is that one can't fully trust what the company says and certainly can't accept what the union says as gospel truth either.

Oh_No
Trogglus normalus

join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL

2 recommendations

This looks like it is justified.

I don't thing they realized how unionizing changes the employer/employee relationship. They just got the 1st taste of what happens when you dont follow the rules.
If the workers follow the rules then the union can protect them.

When there is a union, the company loses all flexibility and judgement and instead must blindly follow the rules with no exceptions as stated in the contract. If they make an exceptions it will get used against the company in the future by other employees.
The open door policy is for employees not union employees.

These guys need to bring their concerns to their union steward and let them negotiated with management.
Not doing the job you are being paid to do and standing outside of a VPs door is going to get you fired.

If they wanted to talk to the VP with the open door policy why did they not do so before they clocked in or after they clocked out???
Or why did they not setup a meeting with the VP in advance???
This really looks like a justified firing.
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Future Nine Corp..
·T-Mobile US
·Optimum Online

1 recommendation

Re: This looks like it is justified.

said by Oh_No:


If they wanted to talk to the VP with the open door policy why did they not do so before they clocked in or after they clocked out???
Or why did they not setup a meeting with the VP in advance???

THIS

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Re: This looks like it is justified.

said by Network Guy:

said by Oh_No:


If they wanted to talk to the VP with the open door policy why did they not do so before they clocked in or after they clocked out???
Or why did they not setup a meeting with the VP in advance???

THIS

Because it really was an illegal walkout, wildcat strike, or whatever you want to call it. And the union was shocked the company actually had the stones to just flat out fire them. They misjudged their opponent.
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Future Nine Corp..
·T-Mobile US
·Optimum Online

Re: This looks like it is justified.

Makes me laugh that the workers are making it seem like they were merely wanting answers and were innocently waiting for them during work time when they're supposed to be out there handling dispatches and trouble tickets.

Yet, this same union had no problem filing a lawsuit alleging intentional subpar service in Brooklyn without first maybe working with management on improving that, if that were really true.

It's bratty double standards with a funny sense of indignation at its best.

Kommie
Premium
join:2003-05-13
united state
kudos:3

Re: This looks like it is justified.

said by Network Guy:

Makes me laugh that the workers are making it seem like they were merely wanting answers and were innocently waiting for them during work time when they're supposed to be out there handling dispatches and trouble tickets.

Yet, this same union had no problem filing a lawsuit alleging intentional subpar service in Brooklyn without first maybe working with management on improving that, if that were really true.

It's bratty double standards with a funny sense of indignation at its best.

The workers want a contract. They have been waiting for a contract for a year now. Sometimes workers have to fight back against the employer to get the message through. More power to them. Wildcat strikes should not be illegal and the Taft Hartley Act should be revoked.

Oh_No
Trogglus normalus

join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL

Re: This looks like it is justified.

said by Kommie:

said by Network Guy:

Makes me laugh that the workers are making it seem like they were merely wanting answers and were innocently waiting for them during work time when they're supposed to be out there handling dispatches and trouble tickets.

Yet, this same union had no problem filing a lawsuit alleging intentional subpar service in Brooklyn without first maybe working with management on improving that, if that were really true.

It's bratty double standards with a funny sense of indignation at its best.

The workers want a contract. They have been waiting for a contract for a year now. Sometimes workers have to fight back against the employer to get the message through. More power to them. Wildcat strikes should not be illegal and the Taft Hartley Act should be revoked.

They should only strike when the union democracy votes to have a strike.

You dont want rouge union members striking when the majority of the union members do not want a strike.
NOVA_UAV_Guy
Premium
join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by Kommie:

The workers want a contract. They have been waiting for a contract for a year now.

That's the problem. They've been waiting, like little spoiled children, for a contract. If they were serious about having a contract and wanted it more than anything else in the world, they would've had one by now.

said by Kommie:

Sometimes workers have to fight back against the employer to get the message through.

Perhaps, but they also need to keep their fight to their own time. If a company has paid someone to work for an hour, then they owe the company 60 minutes of work, not 59. If these guys had no problem sitting around while on the clock, then the company should have no problem taking action in accordance to its own rules.

If their HR policies permitted the firing, and it was done within those guidelines, then these union members have learned a valuable and expensive lesson. (Well, hopefully they learned...)

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

3 recommendations

Why some people can't seem to take a

middle-of-the-road opinion on Unions is beyond me.

Are Unions always great? No. Is having no Unions always great? No.

I have been on both sides as I was part of a Union early on in my working career and I was also (years later for a different company) on the other side fighting against the Unions. They both serve purposes if done without corruption.

Sadly, as corrupt as many Unions have become, I am not sure why anyone in their right mind would think that the corporations are any less corrupt.

The corporation that I worked for knew that most employees had spent years there and would never move on (either due to their speciality nature of their work, age, etc....) and made damn sure that they took advantage of it.

It's funny to me to always hear people claim things like "Just move on to another job!" or "The free market will work itself out!".....when, there is no actual 'free market' since the rules are written by the big boys....and no, most people can't just leave their jobs as they either have no other job available or need to stay in that area due to family or other reasons.

Unions are far from great, Corporations are far from great....but giving either anymore power than the other....is just a terrible idea, imo

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Re: Why some people can't seem to take a

A long, long time ago, before the days of total greed and corruption, unions served a very valuable purpose. They brought about MUCH needed change (the 5 day work week, worker safety requirements, more reasonable compensation to name just a few things). Unfortunately unions have become just as greedy and corrupt as those that they rail against. Thug tactics to get more compensation than you are worth is just as unreasonable. It's been a sad journey watching this country devolve into what it has become. This USED to be such a wonderful country. Now it's just a case study in absolute greed and corruption.
--
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

Re: Why some people can't seem to take a

And I would argue that Corporations have become more greedy and corrupt today.

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Re: Why some people can't seem to take a

said by Bill Neilson:

And I would argue that Corporations have become more greedy and corrupt today.

No argument there, and Government and People, the entire country. Everything is "all about ME". No One wants to work, to build things together and all share in the result. Amerika has become a land of unrealistic expectations, expecting EVERYTHING to go up and up endlessly. Everyone wants to cheat and scam and connive their way to the top, to "get over". It's all about dollars and things... people don't matter any more, not even family. Well, "UP" is finite. About the only thing going UP now is our debt and even THAT will reach a plateau. We've squandered our wealth on toys and trinkets and our children and their children will pay dearly for it. In three short years, the Chinese are going to surpass us in wealth. They have a standing army which dwarfs ours and arguably the best equipped navy and air force in the world. Amerika will no longer be the big dog on the block. There's a whole new world coming, and it's not going to be pretty.
--
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence

justsomeguy

@140.108.1.x

haters will be haters

The union / non-union fight here is old. I used to become embroiled in it here - but arguing with people that never even held a union card is an exercise in futility.

Politicians work for big business, big business looks out for its owners and the owners are the richest in America. Do you honestly believe any of those groups give a flying you-know-what about anyone other than themselves? Unions are the single largest pro-labor group. They represent the views regarding working conditions that most middle class workers (both union and non-union alike) would agree upon. Yet, state after state - union organizing and negotiations are being curtailed or prohibited. Union membership dropped 400,000 last year alone. When unions are gone, who will stand up for the working middle class against corporate America?
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: haters will be haters

said by justsomeguy :

The union / non-union fight here is old. I used to become embroiled in it here - but arguing with people that never even held a union card is an exercise in futility.

Politicians work for big business, big business looks out for its owners and the owners are the richest in America. Do you honestly believe any of those groups give a flying you-know-what about anyone other than themselves? Unions are the single largest pro-labor group. They represent the views regarding working conditions that most middle class workers (both union and non-union alike) would agree upon. Yet, state after state - union organizing and negotiations are being curtailed or prohibited. Union membership dropped 400,000 last year alone. When unions are gone, who will stand up for the working middle class against corporate America?

When unions start contract negotiations by slamming a gun on the table, you know something is wrong. My mother (a union supporter even though she was management) witnessed this first hand back in the 70's. She had to stay at a chemical plant (where she worked) for 5 days to make sure the reactions kept going (or else the plant would have to shut down for a month) just because the union walked out and nearly caused the plant to explode.

The unions killed themselves while they looked after themselves and not for the consumer or for the company they worked for. Quality? Screw that, we want higher pay for quality. American cars of the 70's and 80's are a perfect example of that.
mocycler
Premium
join:2001-01-22
kudos:1
Unions have some positive attributes but they too are in it for themselves and are just as guilty of being in the politicians' back pocket as the big bad companies you claim they are protecting us from. Unions are just another layer of management telling others what they can and can't do.

If unions are such a no-brainer, then why do they need to hide behind complex rules and laws that force employees to participate by paying dues?

The only reason organized labor still exists at all is because of goon squad tactics that coerce participation. When truly given a choice, the union always loses. Just like in Wisconsin: As soon as membership became optional, half the employees up and quit. The stupid union can't even sell itself to its own members.

So yeah, it does not bother me at all if some lazy union shitbag ends up on the street. Fuck them.

And yes, as a matter of fact I have been a union member; not because I think unions are great, only because it was the rules.

Squire James

@embarqhsd.net

Ugly Union Fights

As I see it, a company who votes to join a union has essentially decided to stop working for that company and to start working for the union instead. This CAN work, but the attitude of the people who voted to do it in the first place tend not to be terribly patient about the union and the company working together, and the company is probably pretty upset that they unionized in the first place. This tends to create a pretty hostile environment regardless of who is "right" or "wrong".

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

1 recommendation

Anti Union are usually wrong

I keep laughing at those that keep saying reason why this business fail is because of the Unions and i ask so did the Union got a pay cut like the ex's that fail the company? I mean in no other sector of America you see a CEO fail miserable and have a severance package of millions of dollars. Usually those against unions are the ones that support CEO making out like bandits yet blaming the workers for a company falling.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Anti Union are usually wrong

Actually you see this in most industries. It's due to the contracts they have in place. CEOs are far more valuable than an average employee and therefore get paid much better.

If someone doesn't like it, they are free to become a CEO. But it takes a lot of work to climb the ladder and usually endless amounts of education. Your average person isn't willing to do that work to become a CEO, hence is why CEOs are valuable.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: Anti Union are usually wrong

Yeah they are so valuable yet they run the company to the ground. I say if you as a CEO took a company doing well and crash it you should get no bonus.

Squire James

@embarqhsd.net
I'd say that forming a union sometimes either runs a company into the ground or causes the management to get mad enough to run it into the ground, and sometimes it's hard to tell which one happened. Neither is a terribly favorable result.

I admit I don't like unions much as they exist today. They should really be more like non-profit personnel companies that subcontract to companies within their industry. You know, train or attract people who are really good at their jobs, and if successful the companies will hire them because they're high-quality workers. If the worker is lazy they don't deserve a union!

itsalie

@optonline.net

More union BS

It's been nearly a year and the union has yet to come to an agreement with Cablevision. It's been almost two years and they still haven't settled everything with Verizon. Why were these simple union members trying to talk to Cablevision about their union negotiation and not the union representatives?

Because the union wanted them to put up a stink. Simple as that. Guess what? It backfired. They refused to work and they got fired. Brooklyn has crappy service because they got crappy, lazy techs.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

reality, THEY OWN YOU!!

there are some companies that are run better without a union. what workers rarely understand is these companies are not LONG TERM EMPLOYEMENT jobs!! you don't come out of highschool or college and expect to be at them, they are stepping stones and career path waystations to better jobs while you gain experience and references. you hang out there too long and you begin thinking this is my permanent livelihood.. well, guess what? realtiy check! it is not!

nothing better can say it than the guy who didn't want to climb a pole at night to do an install and it got rescheduled costing the company more money.

that said, the input / output ratio is correlated to worker pay.. pay minimum wage and that's what you'll get out.. minimum effort. unions can't help the lowest of the low end, because frankly, if you're making minimum-- it's not likely you'll gain with a union because the salary would go up, you pay higher taxes AND you pay union dues, blam, your now NETTING BELOW minimum wage.. happy now?

multiply this over several jobs: bus drivers, teachers, construction workers, etc. most major service industries have this lowest common denominator based on the millions of people who work there. any fantasy that once prestigious jobs are anything else than slave wage [read; dead end] jobs with no job security is not living in reality.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q


THEY OWN YOU!!
15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11

1 edit

What about MANGLEMENT??

The fact is that today you don't see many (if any) top executives EVER willing to personally SACRIFICE ANYTHING to "
lead their organizations by example.

Why are the rank and file (union or not) supposed to suffer any and ALL insults and injustices when you've got MANY top executives and CEOs being paid a king's ransom even when they don't perform and many times are central to the damage of a company.

If employees have to sacrifice then so too should the manglement....ESPECIALLY "the executive" management when there are financial hardships at that organization.

I sick to death of hearing about completely incompetent CEOs and other executive manglement raking in tens of millions even HUNDREDS of millions in perks and salaries when they not only don't tread water but when the company is failing miserably ....

That GEORGE CARLIN VIDEO IS SPOT ON!

daguy11

@verizon.net

What a crock

They fire these guys for wanting to talk to someone? They have an a so called open door policy??

A thought a strike is when they are outside refusing to work

Not in the morning when everyone is getting their stuff together, etc

I bet you countless times they have sat around waiting for work to be redistributed, etc

Cablevisin was just itching for an excuse....
NOVA_UAV_Guy
Premium
join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: What a crock

Were the ones who were fired working an hourly job? If so, I cannot blame the company for wanting 60 minutes of work from them during each hour they're on the clock.

Now, if they were sitting there during their lunch break or some other designated break time, then we have a different story. But something leads me to believe that this wasn't the case.

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Bottom Line

The Union has done everything in its power to undermine the company and make this an adversarial relationship. The UNION does NOT and WILL NOT manage the company. Management had no choice. They cannot turn over the reigns of the company to the union. If that's what these employees expect, I suggest that they find another way to feed their families and pay their mortgages.
--
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Bottom Line

I would so love to know what you do for a living. Probably sit on your ass all day short trading stocks.

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Re: Bottom Line

said by ITALIAN926:

I would so love to know what you do for a living. Probably sit on your ass all day short trading stocks.

No, I do something very foreign and unfamiliar to most union members. I WORK.
--
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence

••••••••
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

at will employment...

I thought New York was "at will" employment, meaning that the firings were justified, because the employer can fire at any time, for any reason, regardless of union status. Seriously, if it were my business, i would fire all the union workers, and hire non-union workers, and be done with them. These idiots need to be happy they even have a job in this economy, and quit biting the hand that feeds. Sure, the pay isnt that good, but you install cable, get over yourselves. You have a job, be happy with it. it pisses me off to no end to see these union employees spiting their employer, and not even appreciating the fact that they have a job, and it probably pays better than it should, but no, instead, they always want more. Unions had their purpose, they had a reason, even up till 5 years ago. Now, unions are showing more and more that they are just greedy. Fire them all, i say. If they are so unhappy with their job, tell them to go find another one.

datguy11

@verizon.net

Re: at will employment...

So these "idiots" that "install cable, get over it" should come to your house and act like the idiots they are, right?

Im mean if you say to them "youre not leaving until i can get on the internet" they should tell you, well sir all the lights are on on the modem so call your computer repair guy, if you have one?

You shouldnt belittle people so easily

anonguy2

@shawcable.net

wheres the govt and religious right?

generally speaking, does a unionized workforce raise the quality of life for those in their immediate community?. from a governments perspective, the more a person makes, the more they collect in both payroll taxes and income taxes. and in turn, these workers have more money to spend in that community, creating demand for goods and services from others in that community. the theory is that this should create jobs and opportunities for others not employed by that union.
Those that believe in the traditional "nuclear family", where one parent stays home to raise the kids, are more likely to do so if one of the parents holds a good paying job. the theory here is that this would lead to less crime, as kids would be brought up in more stable households.(how come the religious right who support strong family values are silent here).
generally speaking, are unions not responsible for things like health benefits and retirement plans across all industries?. if there were no unions, would your employer offer you these if they did not have to?
would the idea of minimum wage be gone ?.
imo, there has been a fundamental shift in large companies thought processes. it used to be
1: customer
2: employee
3: shareholder
with the explosion on the emphasis of stock prices, that has changed to
1: shareholder
2: customer
3: employee
by putting the shareholders first, (read any companies financial staement, and those that refer to customers as somthing like RPU's or revenue producing units have put the shareholder above the customer), cutting costs is usually the way to go to drive up share prices. when this happens, wages and benefits go down, company profits rise, and this usually results in companies either raising dividens for shareholders or stock buybacks(to help keep stock prices up) or increasing cash reserves.
paying dividens results in considerably less tax revenue for a community both because shareholders are not concentrated in a particular community, the tax rate is less ( see mitt romney) and less payroll/incometaxes collected. this inturn means less money to be spent in a particular community, less opportunities for growth for those business that supply those families with goods and services. and finally less opportunity for a family to remain "nuclear".
Since the birth of unions, every employee (union or not) has benefitted in some way (min wage, competitve wages/benefits, pensions, safety standards, ect). when every large company instills cost saving measures(union or not) does it affect the price of the goods/services you purchase from that company? the last car you bought, was it cheaper because the company rolled back wages/benefits on its employees? does your cable bill go down because comcast hires new employees at up to 25% less than the people they laid off?.

i personally see more value in employees earning more, than increasing shareholder value, and this is what union busting is really all about.
ps - i get that employees with pensions are interested in keeping stock prices up, but with more personal income, the more control you have to plan your retirement.
rfnut
Premium
join:2002-04-27
Fisher, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Mediacom

Setting the "union" question aside.

A quote from a "pro union" article
"That is an absolute lie,” says Thompson. “We did not refuse to go to work. We just wanted to exercise Cablevision's open door policy, and we said once we were able to get five minutes of their time that we would go back to work.”

Lets break this down logically. ( for fun, imagine your teenager justifying some action or inaction, using this typical method)

"We did not refuse to go to work. We just.........."

There are 2 sentences. The first. A statement."We did not refuse to go to work." Look at this closely. What does it mean? To me it means they state they did not refuse to go to work after being asked.

Now the second, albeit incomplete sentence in this breakdown. "We just...." The next word "wanted" is a contradiction in itself. It directly indicates they did not perform the prior stated action. What the action listed here should have been is "...went to work" . Anything other than went to work written after the word "just" directly shows that they did not go back to work.

datguy11

@verizon.net

Re: Setting the "union" question aside.

Cablevision is notoriously anti-union, and losing the election in Brooklyn deeply emabarresed the owners, the Dolans.

Thats why they gave raises to other cablevison employees and not to the ones in Brooklyn.

Its my belief they dont want to ever settle a contract, other then a crappy contract that gives Brooklyn cable employees LESS then the non union counterparts, just to teach everyone a lesson.

datguy11

@verizon.net

union busting tactics

Over a year ago, nearly 300 Cablevision technicians and dispatchers in Brooklyn joined the CWA, in one of the first successful organizing drives in the largely non-union cable industry and despite a vicious anti-union campaign of harassment and intimidation. But nearly a year later, Cablevision has yet to offer its Brooklyn workers a fair contract, choosing to spend far more on executive compensation and union-busting attorneys than it would take to settle a fair contract. To stop the union from spreading beyond Brooklyn, the company even granted all of its technicians between $2 and $9 an hour raises except for its Brooklyn workers.At the same time, at the bargaining table for Brooklyn, Cablevision has refused to bargain in good faith, including refusing to offer any improvements to wages, benefits or working conditions. Cablevision’s Brooklyn workers are fighting for equal pay, good benefits, and dignity and respect on the job.

tmpchaos
Requiescat in pace
Co-Lead Mod
join:2000-04-28
Hoboken, NJ

(topic offline) again...

Moderator Action
This entire topic was removed, either temporarily, or permanently.

stated reason was: trolling and flaming and banning, oh my!